Epilogue. The Finale.

I think everyone feels the warmth of the reprieve when a loved and cherished adventure thought ended unexpectedly comes back to life.

Just as renewing an old friendship conjures up remembered pleasure, the ocean sailor captures old emotions dampened with lapsing days on land with a fresh breeze humming in the rigging, sails seizing the air, the hull leaning into the close-hauled tack, tension in the lines and the ship surging over long-traveled ocean swells – these make memories replay.

This was our happy state of mind when we faced a new opportunity to find more weather-friendly places for Spirit this summer and fall, thus the project to move Spirit northeast.

We can now add a new Spirit experience after more than three years of incredible journeys immersing ourselves in the geography of the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast. What a ride!

A few weeks ago Spirit started her journey north from Ft. Lauderdale (where she’s been berthed at the Bahia-Mar Yachting Center), to Newport, Rhode Island – a necessary transit to get north of this summer’s “hurricane zone”. The 1,600 nautical mile (1,846 statute mile) transit included stops in Charleston, South Carolina, Cape May, New Jersey, Port Jefferson NY (Long Island Sound), across to Mystic Seaport, Connecticut and finally into the Hinckley Marina just north of Newport. There, Spirit will be shown in the Newport Boat Show and prepared for whoever her next lucky owner might be.

For the two-week trip the weather and winds couldn’t have been better – mostly sunny, relatively flat seas and brisk winds. Life is good! Also, the trip took us down memory lane as four of us were on Spirit’s Atlantic crossing in 2015. Beside myself, our voyage included Tom (Spirit’s first skipper from the UK), Pat (a long time sailing friend), and David (a neighbor and passionate sailor). Also, joining us for the first leg to Charleston was Conrad – our Canadian representative who we knew from his boat-owning days in the BVI. A great crew, great memories and nobody got hurt (with the exception of some newly aligned toes that were stubbed on deck fittings).

As in the past, one of the high points of the trip was our passage around Manhattan, up the East River (at incredible speeds due to the strong currents) where we were in awe of the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline, the new and towering One World World Trade Center, the Empire State building, the United Nations, the bridges….and, this was all before 9:00 am. For a few hours we all went “photo-crazy”. While sailing up the East River we received a YouTube link form David’s wife, Peggy, to a music video of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” which certainly put an exclamation point on our sail by the City. Here’s what she sent – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUrUfJW1JGk

Coming out of the East River into Long Island Sound we made a short stop off the shoreline of Larchmont where our friend Collier was waiting at a yacht club (a few blocks from his home) so we could take pictures of each other – just a bunch of kids having a little fun.

The photos below tell a much better story of our trip up the east coast. Thanks for sticking with us.

What’s next? Who knows?

P.S. Thanks to David for his creative writing at the beginning of this post – capturing the emotions of this trip.

Spirit, ready to head north to Newport

L-R Tom, Dick, Pat, Conrad, David – what a crew!!!

Leaving BahiaMar Yachting Center in Ft. Lauderdale

Low rent intercostal waterway real estate in Ft. Lauderdale

Not so low rent piece of real estate

The A1A drawbridge as we depart Ft. Lauderdale

The strong northerly Gulf Stream gave Spirit an incredible push from Ft. Lauderdale to Charleston – speeds averaging over 9 knots. Wheee!

One of many beautiful sunsets underway

Our first stop after a 450 mile leg

Interesting marina setting out beyond the bog and seagrass

The Charleston City Marina Mega Dock – the longest in North America – Spirit’s mast at far end on the right

Cape May, New Jersey, after another 500 mile leg

Cape May channel entrance

A classic Cape May Victorian home

Atlantic City, New Jersey, as seen from five miles off shore

Approaching New York City under the Verrazano Bridge – 5:30 am!

No words necessary

Approaching Manhattan – an early morning aha moment

With careful planning, and a 4:30 am departure from Sandy Hook, we took advantage of the notorious East River current – going through the water at 6.7 knots, while actually racing north at 12.8 knots over ground (faster than the NY rush hour traffic)

Spirit’s very own dock at Port Jefferson, New York, on Long Island Sound

A foggy morning departure from Port Jefferson

We encountered many curious dolphins along the way, but never expected this sea creature – just off New London, Connecticut

The Mystic River, Connecticut

The Charles W Morgan (1841) in Mystic Seaport – one of the last sailing whaling vessels

Departing Mystic, Connecticut

Passing by a very busy Newport Harbor

The final track of our over 1,600 nautical mile journey

The End of a Journey

Just like all stories, or in our case a wonderful dream, things do have a way of coming to an end. After almost two years in the build process, Spirit was commissioned in Ipswich, England. We have experienced almost 3 years of fun sailing over 12,000 nautical miles in the waters, cities, ports in Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica in the Mediterranean, to just about every island in the Caribbean. We’ve experienced an Atlantic crossing with stops in the Canary Islands and Cape Verde off the coast of Africa as well as spirited Oyster Regattas in Antigua and the British Virgin Islands. During the hurricane seasons Spirit headed north, via Bermuda, to the U.S. northeast coast where we explored Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Maine and Long Island. The list goes on.

It’s with these wonderful memories, our friends who were able to share Spirit with us, and our crews, that we sadly close this chapter in our lives. It’s been a great run, a bucket list fulfilled, a dream that indeed came true.

For all who have followed this website we sincerely hope, in some small way, you were able to vicariously share in our experiences.

This will be the last post before our website is tucked away into the family archives. But, before concluding, below are just a few special photos of Spirit’s incredible journey.  We can only wish you a “bon voyage” as you seek your own incredible journeys.

The yacht Spirit is born in early 2014

Our good friends Pat and Teri have been with us on this journey from the very beginning

Over a year of detailed finishing work

Spirit’s christening in 2015

Dick, Pat & David – A cold English Channel transit to the Mediterranean

Our first crew – Tom & Hannah

Friends we met along the way

Anchored in a port on southern Majorca

Our afternoon Sangria with Pat & Teri in Port de Soller, Majorca

The isle of Cabrera south of Palma

Dinner with Jim & Sue in Andratix, Majorca

Drinking Mojitos in Palma (the right way) with Denny and Betty

Off to dinner with David and Peggy – somewhere on Majorca

The coastline just east of Bonifacio, Corsica

The port of Bonifacio

Bonifacio at night

Mastering a selfie with John and Linda in Sardinia

Dan & Marcia arriving in Portisco, Sardinia

Heading off to happy hour with Bill & Sara

Spirit just after the start of the Atlantic crossing in Las Palmas, Canary Islands

David looking on (in disbelief) as Pat lands dinner, fresh from the Atlantic

Fresh Mani Mahi in the middle of the Atlantic – not bad

Approaching the finish line in St. Lucia after 15 days at sea

Spirit’s track across the Atlantic (Second place finish in our class)

One happy, and tired, crew – L-R Pat, Lars, Tom, Dick, David & Hannah

Racing (and winning our class) in the 2016 Antigua Oyster Regatta

Family time in the BVI with our son and his daughters

Jeff and our granddaughters, Katie and Abby, holding things up in the BVI

A favorite secluded beach on Guana Island, BVI

Feeding our daughter’s family in the BVI

Grandma & Grandpa’s “quality time”

At peace – Collier and Ann taking it all in off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard

Our most recent crew, Leah & Erik

Spirit crossing the finish line (and winning our class) in the 2017 BVI Oyster Regatta

Spirit team receiving awards for finishing first in her class (minus Nick who had to leave a day early) L-R Erik, Pat, David, Leah & Dick

The quiet beauty of the Spanish Virgin Islands

A front row seat for the America’s Cup in Bermuda

The Charm of the New England coast

Spirit anchored at the head of Some Sound as a fog bank rolls in

The lobster trap buoys of Maine – they’re everywhere!

Charming Maine seaports like Camden

Pat, still trying to master knots

Approaching New York on the East River

New York City as seen from the Hudson River

Anchored off Grace Bay, Providenciales, in Turks & Caicos

A beautiful night at anchor on the eastern end of Provo

A three-year track of Spirit’s journeys

Just one of 100’s of sunsets. A fitting end to our incredible journey.

Back to the Islands

Since our last post in late September where we cruised the waters of Long Island, Spirit has sailed down the East coast and spent some time in Charleston, SC then waited out the Caribbean hurricane season in Georgetown, SC.

In early December Spirit’s crew made the 800 nautical mile transit to the Turks & Caicos Islands and joined our family for Christmas and New Years anchored off Grace Bay beach in front of our condo in Providenciales. A glorious holiday was had by all.

In preparation for Spirit’s next transit to Grenada in a few days (almost 1,000 nautical miles) she moved to the eastern end of Providenciales and enjoyed a full moon evening captured by the yacht Mojo who was kind enough to share the photo below.

We’re looking forward to once again enjoying the beauty of the Windward and Leeward Islands as we’ll be heading north from Grenada to Antigua starting in February. More memories to be shared

We hope all who follow our blog had a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Spirit’s track from Georgetown to the Turks & Caicos Islands

Anchored off Grace Bay, Providenciales

Escaping the arctic temperatures back home

A beautiful night at anchor